Department of Water Resources Home

California State Water Project

Oroville Dam and Lake Oroville lie in the foothills on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada, one mile downstream of the junction of the Feather River's major tributaries.

(click the image for a larger view)

The lake stores winter and spring runoff which is released into the Feather River to meet the Project's needs. It also provides pumped-storage capacity, 750,000 acre-feet of flood control storage, recreation, and freshwater releases to control salinity intrusion in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and for fish and wildlife protection.

Construction first began in 1957 to relocate what is now Highway 70 and the Union Pacific Railroad. Work on the dam site began in 1961. The embankment was topped out in 1967, and the official dedication ceremony was held the next year.

Oroville Dam

Type zoned earthfill
Embankment volume 80,000,000 cubic yards
Height 770 feet (highest in U.S.)
Crest length 6,920 feet
Crest elevation 922 feet
Crest width 50.6 feet

Lake Oroville

Maximum Operating Storage (mos) 3,537,580 acre-feet
Water Surface Elevation @ mos 900 feet
Water Surface Area @ mos 15,810 acres
Shoreline @ mos 167 miles